Saturday, March 01, 2014


Staying once more with Neptune, and one of its alleged characteristics: fog. Fog comes in atmospheric, mental and ethereal varieties.

We used to experience frequent dense atmospheric fogs in the part of England where I lived for many years. Being caught in a really dense fog, known in Britain as "a pea souper", was more unnerving and disorienting than I had ever realised. My mother and I were out shopping one afternoon trolling around some department store for an hour or so. When we'd entered the store it had been an average kind of coolish, dampish, Septemberish afternoon; when we stepped out later everything was shrouded in a thick white, choking fog. We gasped, laughed and began to walk a few yards, then found we had no idea how far we'd walked or where to turn or where to cross the road - which would have been a stupid thing to do anyway. The fog was so thick you couldn't even see the edge of the footpath(sidewalk) or, in fact, the footpath under your own feet. We couldn't see any other people around at all, or sense the way back to the same store, so quickly disorientated had we become. The experience brought on a dizzying feeling unlike anything I've known since. We held hands, felt our way along buildings until a dim glow from another store filtered through the fog. We waited inside until the worst of the fog had lifted.

On another occasion I was with my parents in their car travelling the 20 or so miles home from a visit to another city. The weather had been fine and dry as we set off, around 5pm. Halfway home a thick fog descended. In those days there were not nearly as many cars and lorries on the roads, which was fortunate for us, but headlights weren't nearly as efficient as they are today. We parked for a while, the fog persisted, so my mother opted to walk in front of the car with (optimistically) a lighter, and lighted cigarette, in the hope that any oncoming traffic would see us, also in the fervent hope that she wouldn't disappear into the fog, only to be knocked down by Dad! We proceeded at a very, very slow pace almost to the outskirts of our hometown where we promptly collapsed into fits of nervous giggles.

By Carl Sandburg

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

 Milan, Italian city known in the past for its for thick winter fog

 Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog, by Caspar David Friedrich (1818)

“One day many years ago a man walked along and stood in the sound of the ocean on a cold sunless shore and said, "We need a voice to call across the water, to warn ships; I'll make one. I'll make a voice like all of time and all of the fog that ever was; I'll make a voice that is like an empty bed beside you all night long, and like an empty house when you open the door, and like trees in autumn with no leaves. A sound like the birds flying south, crying, and a sound like November wind and the sea on the hard, cold shore. I'll make a sound that's so alone that no one can miss it, that whoever hears it will weep in their souls, and hearths will seem warmer, and being inside will seem better to all who hear it in the distant towns. I'll make me a sound and an apparatus and they'll call it a Fog Horn and whoever hears it will know the sadness of eternity and the briefness of life."
"The Fog Horn blew.”
― Ray Bradbury, The Fog Horn

More Foggy Fragments....

Foggy Day in London Town; Foggy Foggy Dew; Foggy Mountain Breakdown.

Then take me disappearin' through the smoke rings of my mind,
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves,
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach,
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow.
(Bob Dylan, Mr Tambourine Man)

the fog =

le brouillard (French)

la nebbia (Italian)

la niebla (Spanish)

der nebel (German)

The fog of war: confusion caused by the chaos of war or battle, fog of war can cloud judgment.

Sometimes we don't have "the foggiest idea."

Pettifogger = a lawyer who handles petty cases, esp. one who uses unethical methods in conducting trumped-up cases, a trickster, cheater.

Types of Fog
1. Radiation Fog - During a clear night, radiational cooling causes the air temperature at the surface to reach the dew point. At that point, condensation occurs, and fog forms.

2. Advection Fog - When warm, moist air moves horizontally across a cold surface, the air is cooled to the dew point, and fog forms because of it.

3. Slope Fog - When warm, moist air rises up a slope, it eventually reaches the Lifting Condensation Level (LCL), which is where the air temp equals the dew point, etc.

4. Precipitation Fog - After plenty of rainfall, enough of it evaporates to saturate the air, and that results in fog formation.

5. Steam Fog - Cool air present above warm water receives enough water vapor from evaporation to form fog.
(From HERE).


mike said...

Your post makes me reminisce my days in coastal Ventura, CA. Most of coastal CA is known for fog, but particularly what the locals call "June Gloom"...April and May become warm and sunny, then June Gloom hits and typically spills over into July and maybe August some years. I worked 20 miles inland at about 1000 ft elevation, so it was nice to get out of the coastal, daily fog, but strange. It would be 65* to 75* and foggy in Ventura, but 100+* and sunny inland on those summer days. Always felt good to return to Ventura.

Like you, I've been in fog so thick that I could barely see two feet ahead while walking. My head was definitely in the clouds!

I like it when the fog first comes in and swirls and encompasses everything...very surreal. Or when it's very thick, but starting to clear overhead, and the sun isn't visible, but makes everything incredibly bright, almost "heavenly".

We've had quite a few foggy nights and mornings here on the Gulf Coast, due to the bay water being so cold this year. The fog can be a nice break from our intense sunshine.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Ah yes - you'll have a few foggy days on the Gulf Coast - which is, I suppose our nearest sea coast. We haven't made it there yet, possibly never will - though I do miss seeing and smelling the sea....but the Gulf sea will be very different from the cold North Sea I remember from life in England.

The most we get here in southwest OK occasionally is a fine mist, short-lived. If there were more water in the red river than a cupful we might see more proper fog. :-)

On subject of climate - it's good to see students preparing to protest tomorrow at the White House

XL Dissent protest this weekend at White House could be largest youth-led civil disobedience action in a generation

LB said...

Twilight ~ I was just thinking last evening about how much I enjoy walking in the fog. I've always assumed it's related to my Neptune-Mercury-Jupiter conjunction on the cusp of the 2nd-3rd, with the ruler of my 3rd, Pluto, in the 12th.

On the West Coast where we live, summer is our foggiest time of year, which means we'll soon be coming into my favorite walking weather - always cool with no glaring sun to obscure my view. Fog is the great equalizer. With no "sunny side of the street", it softens everything and allows me to see more clearly, be more present. It sometimes feels as if the heavens are reaching out to touch and surround me, inviting me home to where it's calm and safe. There's also something so comforting about falling asleep to the sound of a fog horn.

Driving (or sailing) in the fog is a different story. In 1950, the naval hospital ship my dad was serving on was hit in the thick fog by a passing ship and quickly sank in the San Francisco Bay:

Not everyone survived. My dad (always very heroic) was one of the lucky ones, though the experience affected him deeply - he went back down into the sinking ship to try and recover life jackets and was also one of the swimmers who gathered up ocean debris for other men to be placed on when they could no longer bear the frigid water. I think it was the kindness and generosity he experienced after the accident that convinced him there was something special about San Francisco and its people. Had the accident not happened, he might never have settled here, which is where he met and married my mother. One interesting tidbit is that at the time of the accident, the Aquarius Moon was trine Neptune in Libra and was EXACTLY conjunct my Vertex.

Loved this post and also your story about getting lost in the fog, Twilight.:) I see it as a metaphor for learning to navigate by faith.

LB (again) said...

Thanks, Twilight. Because of your post, I discovered more online material on the sinking of the USS Benevolence, including a couple of very moving first-hand accounts which I'll bookmark and pass along to my brother.

Twilight said...

LB ~ Oh another coastal blog-friend, yes! I shall have to enjoy your lovely foggy walks, and mike's, by proxy. :-) It's nice to hear about them.

Also, what a super story of your father's experience in fog! The fog was actually what brought you, yourself, into existence wasn't it, in a roundabout way. :-)

(again)A happy accident then that I was in a fog what to write about this weekend and decided on....fog. I'm glad you found the info. for you and your brother. The net can be a wonderful friend at times, when taking a break from its spying duties.

LB said...

Yes, I believe the fog did contribute to my coming into existence where and when I did. That's it exactly.:)

When I just now took a second look at the chart for the accident, I realized something else. The Midheaven was *exactly* conjunct my natal Neptune in Scorpio.

Since the 3 planets involved in my natal Neptune-Mercury-Jupiter conjunction also rule the 4 angles of my chart, I guess it makes sense!

Twilight said...

LB ~ Sometimes all the pieces just fall into place and make the picture complete! :-)

Twilight said...

To All ~ While reading a string of comment at Common Dreams under a piece about the Ukraine issue I came across another "Foggy" - Foggy Bottom...LOL I had to look it up
The comment (from Chris Herz) went like this:

The bones of millions of Russian soldiers lie in the soil of Ukraine. Not just Nazi Germany, but all other major European powers have at one time or another tried to take this territory. Russia did not hesitate even at the brink of two world wars to defend it.
Foggy Bottom has once again stuck our butts in a buzzsaw.

I discovered that it's an area in DC where government has many interests and a lot of sway:

Not surprising to come across fog in such a place, but unusual to have a place name so apt for its inhabitant bodies!!!

LB said...

That's pretty wild. Some of the more Neptunian organizations housed at the "Foggy Bottom" Washington, DC location include:

The World Bank buildings, the International Finance Corporation, the International Monetary Fund, the Office of Personnel Management, the American Pharmacists Association, the American Red Cross National Headquarters, the Pan American Health Organization, and the headquarters of the United States Department of State.

I copied and pasted from the Wikipedia link you provided.

LB said...

Twilight ~ Off subject a bit, but still related to Neptune's transit through Pisces, have you been following any of what's been going on related to our oceans and water supply - another aspect of Neptune.

I'm still catching up and just read, "Did the Feds Just Issue a 'Death Warrant' to Marine Mammals?" about the negative impact of our search for oil and gas:

And this one, "Saving Our Blue Future: The Human Race Needs a New Water Ethic", about how we're running out of water:

Then too, there's the ongoing Fukushima disaster, something I think about quite a bit considering where I live. And I'm sure you've heard we have a drought here in California, just in time for the movie release of "Noah" starring Russell Crowe.

Maybe I'm reading your mind and this is something you plan to write about later!

Twilight said...

LB ~ Thanks for adding the list - never was there a more appropriate location name - Foggy!


Yes I read as much about the environmental and water shortage issues as I can stomach before feeling seriously depressed and angry about it all.

We have had drought conditions for the last 2 years, and water shortage here in southwest Oklahoma too. I read just yesterday in the local paper that any watering of grass or gardens will be limited to Wednesdays and Saturdays, and only before 9am.
That doesn't matter much to us as we never have watered our grass, back or front yards, we're probably the only ones on our road who don't. Our small strip of front garden will suffer once the worst of the heat hits. That's the least of our worries.
I can see even stricter limitations coming soon, and they should.

The oceans will punish us for killing their wildlife, and in the not too distant future.

I have thought about writing again about it all but find it so depressing and futile that I gave up. I've written about the topic in general in many old posts, as far back as 2007 when I was keen to see Al Gore run for the presidency - he didn't, of course.
He said that politics is toxic - he was right!

Here's a link one of the earliest posts from Jan. 2007

I think it's too late now. If the USA had shown some leadership in 1997 and ratified the Kyoto Protocol when there was still time to do something about the problems, it could be different now. That made me angry in 1997 I harboured very nasty thoughts about the USA at the time.

When we moved to this house in 2005 I bought a flagpole and we flew the Earth Flag for many years.
People asked what it was - possibly intending to have it taken down because it wasn't the stars and stripes! I gave up flying it a few years ago.

Too late. Too late. too late.

LB said...

Twilight ~ I understand and share your sense of frustration, though to be honest, it wasn't something I used to spend a lot of time thinking about. Now that I'm more awake and aware, whenever possible I try to make more mindful choices as an individual consumer, just as you're doing by choosing not to water your lawn. We might not be able to change the world, but we can change ourselves - I know I'm still part of the problem.

Thanks for the link to your previous post.:)